How to Craft an Instagram Account - Instagram Basics

I love Instagram - You can find me at @CraftBlogUK but I know that I just don't spend enough time posting or using instagram to promote my blog properly, it's always been just a bit of fun, despite using it in my work with clients with great results.

For 2016 it's going to be the year of Instagram for my own account, those who already follow me can still expect plenty of pics of my cooking, kids, garden and my 4 chickens enjoying the sun as spring eventually emerges - I'll just be sure to add more of my latest blog posts in too and focus on getting my pics really pretty!

Why don't you join me and see if you can use instagram for more than just sharing a few pics with friends.  It's a great way to promote your crafts, but you need to do far more than just post pics of the finished articles when you're just starting out if you want to build up a following.

How to Craft an Instagram Account - Instagram Basics

Marina from contacted me recently and offered to write up a helpful guide for using Instagram - so do read on for her great tips!   You can also follow Labelname on Facebook to get more great tips for crafters and special social media discounts on woven labels and other branding products. 

14 million active users in the UK alone is a good reason to include Instagram in your marketing strategy. According to Instagram’s official stats, there are around 300 million active users all over the world. 

If you have never used Instagram before, you may be reluctant to start another social media account, but in this article I’m going to explain why it is worth the effort and how your blog or handmade business can benefit from it.

Instagram is an app for sharing photos. Although most people use it to share their selfies and personal stories, it’s also a great promotional tool for businesses - no matter how big or small they are - and especially for handmade businesses, where photos are the main asset for product promotion.

Where to start

First of all, you can only post to Instagram from a smartphone. Once you download the app you need to create an account. Pick your username wisely. There are two factors to consider: if you include a keyword it will show up on Instagram searches and if you pick your site or store name it will be easier for your existing customers and readers to find you. 

You will be able to add a link to your blog or store in the bio, but keep in mind that this is the only link you can publish on Instagram.

What to post

Obviously you need good photos of your products to promote them on Instagram, but people also like to see a person behind the account from time to time. You can include pictures of yourself or your work environment to add a personal touch. Sharing some advice or techniques is also a good idea because it gives people an extra reason to follow you. 

Instagram allows you to add a fairly long description to a photo (the limit is 2200 characters), so feel free to tell a story in this section. Unfortunately you can’t link to your article or product here, because all the links included in the post will be shown as plain text, but there is still a way to promote your blog post through Instagram: create an intriguing description and tell people they can read the full story by clicking the link in your bio. 

When to post

According to CoSchedule, the best time to post on Instagram is from 2-3 pm and 8-9 pm. Try different posting times to see what works best for your audience. An Instagram feed is very similar to the one on Twitter: users get to see all the posts from people they follow in a single feed and the newest posts come first.

Hashtags 101

In this photo-sharing world, hashtags are very important. People use them to find photos they like and it’s the easiest way to promote your account. All you have to do is include a relevant hashtag for others to be able to find your post in the description. Some examples are #etsyuk, #handmadeinuk and #craftsblogger. Anna from has done a great job of putting together a list of crafty hashtags on Instagram, so check it out if you’re looking for ideas. 

Hunt for followers

There are several ways to gain more Instagram followers. If you connect your Facebook account, the software will automatically notify your Facebook friends who are also using Instagram that you have joined. To reach strangers, you can use several techniques on top of posting your photos with the right hashtags. Search for relevant hashtags and like other photos yourself. When you like someone’s photo they are likely to check out your account. If it’s interesting and of value to them, they will follow. 

The same happens when you follow someone’s account: chances are they will follow back. If you want to connect with other crafters, search for photos with craft-related hashtags. If you’re looking for an audience in a certain area you can search for that too. #London, #UK and #Birmingham are all popular hashtags. You may go even further and search for specific hashtags, such as #londonmums, to reach a group of people that are most likely to become your customers or subscribe to your blog.

A photo posted by Hilary Pullen (@craftbloguk) on

The best part about Instagram is that you can share your posts on your other social media accounts with a simple click. It allows you to connect Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and some other networks which allows you to share your photos with a wider audience.

Do you use Instagram? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Marina Generalova - - custom woven clothing labels at a great price and available in small or large quantities.